Adulting 101: Vacationing Like A Somewhat Boss (When You Really Have No Idea What You’re Doing)

Adulting 101: Vacationing Like a Somewhat Boss

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

That moment when you’re an adult and you actually have no idea how to adult well. I’m honestly just another quasi-adult trying to help–and vacation.

I’m 25. So, basically an adult–actually, a full-fledged adult by societal standards. But by my standards? I’m like, 12 at best. Adulting 101 is my feeble attempt to offer advice to fellow “adults” like me who just can’t

I realized I was an adult this year actually. Wanna know how? It was after a really long week at work, combined with my other weekly commitments and responsibilities, that I sank down into my living room couch, sighing deeply.

“I need a vacation.”

So, here I am–on vacation in sunny (and straight up HOT) Orlando, Florida. And I’ve never felt more “adult” in my life. I’ve also never realized how complicated adulting can be–until now. So, shout-out to mom and dad for being the real MVP’s all these years. 

And since I believe in sharing any and all tidbits of quasi-adult wisdom with my fellow “adults”–here’s a few tips for those of you considering vacationing any time soon. And if you’re not considering it–I’m just going to assume you’re either living your best life at your dream job right now or you’re seriously in denial. 

Book your hotel via phone

Sure, it might be your MO to book a hotel or lodging via the inter webs. But this time around, I found that booking through the hotel’s phone reservation system actually saved me some green. Usually, when you book the hotel, you just choose the room, the amount of beds you’ll need, whether you want a room with or without a view, and then stare aghast at the astonishingly high number you see under the TOTAL: and question whether or not you really need a vacation after all. You do. You’re an adult, remember? Vacations are your friends!

Try booking via the hotel’s or travel site’s phone reservation system. Give them a call and let them do the rest. You can still choose all of the specifics I mentioned above, and because you called, generally the aide on the other end will offer you a discounted price for the room(s) that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about had you just booked online. 

You’re welcome.

Pack lightly

No, you really don’t need to pack those extra pair of jeans. You already packed 5 pairs! Put them down and listen to me: pack lightly. I get that this can be hard for my fellow ladies out there, but trust me–you’re going to want to cut it down a bit. Depending on where you’re going and for how long, pack accordingly.

My rules of thumb–

Undergarments: 1 per day and 2 extra just in case.

Bottoms: 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of pants and 1 pair of leggings/sweats for lounging all comfy-cozy-toasty.

Tops: 1 per day (bring at least 2 dressy ones for any special occasion outings). BONUS: don’t forget to pack a long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt, in case it gets chilly at night.

Miscellaneous: 1-2 dresses or dressier items for a nice dinner or to catch a show in the nearby city. You can never go wrong with a nice, dressy option!

Bring Sunscreen

I’m serious. You need to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. But especially when vacationing. Whether it’s out in hot, sunny Orlando, Florida or even for a cloudy beach day in Monterey, sunscreen will save your life–literally. 

Plan your transportation ahead of time

Literally, like–don’t procrastinate and then have to use Uber (which you detest because they’re super shady–is it just me? Okay…). If your hotel has an airport pickup system, you can usually find the info on how to make a reservation for a pickup via their website or by giving them a call. You DO NOT want to get stranded and miss out on one second of your vacation, so take it from me–plan ahead!

Budget your spending money

If you’re a millennial like me–you’re probably at that life stage where you still don’t exactly know what you’re doing. I mean, in life. And since we’re usually twenty-somethings still trying to “figure it all out” (which I’m pretty sure even people in their 50’s are still doing) we don’t always have a steady source of income, or if we do, it’s usually going towards very grown up things like: $5000 monthly rent in SF, the $45 grocery bill from Whole Foods, or other adult-y things. With that being said, budgeting on vacation will be your best bet. 

p.s. if you haven’t yet discovered and taken advantage of the glorious (and notably cheaper-than-Whole-Foods), holy grail that is Trader Joe’s, you just might be a lost cause. 

Even if you’re waving gleefully to us in your new Tesla as we pass by on the struggle bus–budgeting is always a good idea. Know how much you can and want to spend. Write it down. Memorize the number and do your best to keep it in mind when you’re questioning whether or not to have that second glass of wine for $15. Yeah–it’s probably not worth it. 

But then again, it might be. No judgement here. 

Bring or choose healthy snacks

Don’t get me wrong–indulging while on vacation is 100% supported by moi (see picture below for proof). But, making healthy choices for the bulk of your eating adventures is also a good idea.

Vacation Like a Boss - Sprinkles cupcake - adulting 101

Walking around a theme park all day? You’re going to need some protein for energy (think boiled eggs, nuts, etc.).

Hiking with friends? Fruits that are crisp and fresh go perfectly with the great outdoors!

Basking in the sun at the beach? First of all–SUNSCREEN–secondly, make sure to pack some hummus and carrots and/or pita chips for munching. 

I’m not a health nut, but I’ve definitely experienced the post-vacation bleh–you know, when you’re all sun-drunk, sandy-in-all-the-wrong-places, and bloated from all the fried food you consumed in the last 72 hours?

All I’m saying is, try to be a little more mindful of what you’re ingesting and putting into your body–give it the energy it needs and wants–and the cupcakes, too!

It will definitely thank you for it. 

PRO Tip: First of all, that whole budget thing applies here too. If you bring your own snacks from home before you get to your vacation destination, I am almost 500% positive that you’ll save like a ton o’ money instead of wasting it on the $7.99 BARE apple chips in the airport convenience store. Yeah, I’m still reeling from that one.

Ahhhh, vacation.

You just don’t come around quite often enough. But oh, do we love you.

Hope this helped you feel a little more like an adult today, and encouraged you to plan your next vacation well. Disclaimer: reading this post doesn’t actually transform one into an adult. In fact, I’m not really sure how it happens. I’ll let you know when it happens to me–until then…

Vacation as an adult - adulting 101

Just, ya know–twirling like a Disney princess at #BlogHer17 in Orlando, FL. 

Are you vacationing soon and more confused than Ice Cube at a sorority house? Let me know your struggles or ideas on how other “adults” can vacation better in the comments below!


Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • Amber

    Love ittttttt!!!! You’re the cutest!! 😀

  • Samantha Lee

    Packing lightly has been such a game changer for me. No more waiting for my checked luggage after a long and exhausting flight when I already have my carry on! 🙂

    • Leighann


      So true, Sam! Carry-on or go home – it’s my travel motto lol especially when traveling a long ways!

  • Abbigayle Warner

    lol love the title of this hahaha gta fake it till u make it 🙂 cute post . looks like you know who to travel in style <3

    • Leighann


      It’s so true, Abbigayle – the millennial struggle is real! Thanks, girl – I try!

  • Elizabeth

    Great tips! Remembering to bring snacks is a really great way to save money. I can get a huge bag of pretzels at the grocery store for less than the tiny snack size serving at the airport!
    Elizabeth |

    • Leighann


      Yes, Elizabeth! It’s so true – I mean, I love apple chips, but c’mon $7?!?!?!?!?!
      They were delicious though, but I could have gotten them at Safeway, or better yet, gotten a real apple for much cheaper. Thanks for reading, friend!

  • Moe

    Planning vacations stress me out!! Lol great list – I’ll have to trey to pack lighter AND book hotels via phone. 😂

    • Leighann


      Same – this was my first planning of a vacation all by myself actually – and it can be so stressful. I’m glad this list was entertaining and hope it can help you for any future vacation planning you might have! Thanks for reading, Moe!

  • Jen S

    I’ve been traveling alone since I was 18 and I can tell you that even when you’re experienced at traveling (actual adult or not) the faking it is still a thing! Packing lightly is definitely a HUGE difference between an awesome active vacation and a “omg how do I get to-and-from-places” vacation though.

    • Leighann


      Fake it ’til you make it is so real. Lol and yes, I learned the importance of packing light on this last vacation–especially when you’re not traveling with a car, your checkout time is 11am and your flight isn’t until 7pm! Hahaa, thanks for reading, Jen!

  • Megan | A Dash of Mum Blog

    Great tips (and I love the title so much haha!)

    • Leighann


      Thanks, Megan – it’s just exactly how I felt on this entire trip lol thanks for reading!

  • Marissa

    Love this! Definitely something I needed to read while starting to be an adult. Also sunscreen. Always need sunscreen.

    • Leighann


      Yes, ADULTING 101 should be a required class lol it’s so necessary – but I also realize that there’s something to having to actually figure out things on your own and as you go! Thanks for reading Marissa–glad this post was helfpul! And yes, SUNSCREEN, please!

  • Tracy

    Great tips! I never knew that you could save money by calling the hotel rather than booking online! I am planning to go on vacation soon so this is a very useful tip!

    • Leighann


      Thanks, Tracy! Glad it was helpful for you – and YES, you can in fact call the hotel and book that way. Another life lesson learned from my ever-wise mother. Hope you have a wonderful trip when you go!

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